Monthly Archives: June 2010

And Then There Were Two

South Carolina begins its quest for a baseball national championship tonight at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium. The USC plays UCLA in a best of three series.

Neither team has won it all before, although USC has been here three times previously. So, we will have a new national champion in the last series held at The ‘Blatt. That is a great way to say goodbye to the Ballpark on the Hill.

Most of the national media are giving the edge to the Bruins. That’s understandable because good pitching wins baseball games. UCLA has three of the best. But don’t write the Gamecocks out of it yet.

USC has shown they have heart. Coming out of the loser’s bracket to play for the championship is nothing to take lightly. They also have their own excellent pitching staff.

This is a photo of Blake Cooper that I took at an earlier game. He will get the start tonight. This will make his third start here in the College World Series. Some are questioning this call based on Cooper’s short rest since his last outing. I can only say that Head Coach Skipper Ray Tanner has made some good calls so far and the Carolina fans trust the Skipper.

The Bruins may be the favorite on paper, but fortunately, the games will be decided on the diamond.

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South Carolina over Clemson, Again

The University of South Carolina defeated Clemson University 4-3 to advance to the National Championship Series. This was the second victory in as many games for the Gamecocks over their in-state rival Tigers.

Prior to this two game series, Clemson was 2-0 in Omaha for the year. They only needed one win against the Gamecocks to play for the national championship.  Remarkably, this was the same scenario both teams faced here in 2002. USC won two then also.

I heard someone say after the game to party like it was 2002. For the Gamecock’s sake, I hope they don’t. They lost the championship game that year to Texas.

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Strike through the “If” portion of today’s *If necessary schedule. The Final Four of college baseball will be replayed today. You don’t see that in basketball.  TCU and UCLA are playing right now for a trip to the final series. The winner will play the winner of tonight’s game between two Palmetto State teams.

The University of South Carolina will play as the “home team” against their arch rival Clemson University. To say this game is necessary would be an understatement. So far this year the teams stand 2-2 against each other. Not only does the winner get bragging rights for the state, but a trip to the national championship series. Not a bad deal for the State of South Carolina Baseball.

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The Palmetto State Rivalry Back Home in Omaha

The University of South Carolina won a dramatic walk off victory last night over Oklahoma University to set up a Palmetto State rivalry game right here in Omaha. USC will face off with Clemson University in about one hour. It should be a great baseball game.

South Carolina is playing from the loser’s bracket and would have to defeat Clemson twice to advance to the national championship series. Clemson is in the driver’s seat and only needs one win to make it to Championship Monday.

This is reminiscent of 2002 when the teams were in an identical situation. South Carolina went on to win back to back games against their arch rival to advance to the championship game. Back then the championship was one game, winner take all. Now the championship will be decided in a best of three series.

One thing is for certain. The State of South Carolina will have a team in the final game played in the final College World Series held at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium. That is a great statement for baseball in South Carolina.

Five teams from South Carolina made the playoffs. The way the regionals were set up, only two teams could possibly make it to Omaha. Maybe next year the NCAA will spread it out a little better.

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Conway Police Increase DUI Enforcement

The title of this post is the title to an article in the Sun News Breaking News.

Because police say alcohol is a factor in fatal crashes during the July 4th holiday, Conway officers plan to be aggressive in their patrols for DUI offenders, according to authorities.

It is interesting to note that the article does not mention roadblocks. We know roadblocks are not an effective method of DUI detection. They are more of a show of force type deterrent.

Aggressive patrols? I can’t imagine the Conway Police Department taking a more aggressive role in patrolling for DUI’s. They already have received major recognition in that category.

DUI detection is a good thing. No one wants dangerous drivers on the roads. But I hope no one wants an innocent person arrested either.

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The Road to Omaha

The College World Series is unlike any other championship in college sports. Eight teams descend upon Omaha, Nebraska for a double elimination tournament.  Two teams will emerge from the two bracket format to play a best two out of three series for the national championship.

It begins today in Omaha and like always, will be played at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium. Unfortunately, this will be the last time for The ‘blatt. Next year the tournament moves downtown into a brand new facility. Out with the old and in with the new.

For a college baseball team to make it to the CWS is a great accomplishment. To make it in the final year at Rosenblatt is special. Lifetime memories will be created for the players on all eight teams. Especially noteworthy is the fact that TCU is making its first CWS appearance.

I too am making my first trip to the college world series. Although I planned this trip a long time ago, I modified part of that plan recently when I decided to make the trip by car instead of plane. It may sound crazy, but it was actually an enjoyable experience. It was a decision inspired by a Coastal Carolina wristband that simply states 1312 on one side and Omaha on the other. How could you not want to make that trip after the miracle season that the Chanticleers had this year? On a side note, I also noticed that my favorite college baseball writer, Stitch-Head, was driving from CA.

If you are still reading this post, you may be wondering what does the CWS have to do with criminal defense law. That’s simple. They have everything and nothing to do with each other. Play ball and call the next case.

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Coastal’s season ends

The Chanticleer baseball season is over. It ended with a heartbreaking loss to South Carolina on a blistering hot Sunday afternoon. That the season ended is hard enough. The way it came crashing to a halt made it that more difficult.

Coastal leading 9-7 in the bottom of the eighth. Two outs, two strikes, two men on for SC. One pitch. One hit and a ball that didn’t want to land inside the ballpark. Three runs scored. SC takes a 10-9 lead and holds on to win the Myrtle Beach Super Regional.

A close friend and diehard Gamecock supporter told me later that it was two close games that could have gone either way. That’s one way to describe it. There were plenty of opportunities for Coastal to win the series. I’m not trying to be critical and I believe the team would admit that. This post is not meant to be an analysis of the game. I could do that but I would rather try to write a brief post of my appreciation for a great team that made tremendous accomplishments this year.

Coastal went undefeated in conference play. That is incredible, no matter what conference you are in. So far, they won more games than any other team in the nation. They hosted and won a regional. They hosted the super regional in Myrtle Beach. They were the number 4 national seed. All in all, that is a pretty good resume. There are about 292 other teams that would love to have that season.

Congratulations to the entire team. I thought about listing the players by name and pointing out special accomplishments but that’s not a Coastal kind of thing. Coastal plays as a team and like the old saying goes: there’s no “I” in team. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of great players on the team, but none as great as the whole.

I will wish a special thanks to all the seniors. They can be proud of many things, including having the best overall record in college baseball for the entire four years.  Good luck men.

There are a couple of juniors that have a decision to make and there are other players contemplating moves as well. I wish them the best and hope they make the decision that’s best for them. Congratulations to Coach Gilmore and the entire staff. To accomplish what they have with the facilities and lack of administrative support, it is hard to comprehend.  I can’t think of any who have done so much with so little. I believe this is getting ready to change for the better in the not-so-distant future.

The president and athletic director are moving forward with great plans and dedication. A new stadium is in the works. We are getting more community support than I can ever recall.

This team didn’t make it to Omaha, though they came very close. They have, however, laid a solid foundation for the next team. Coastal will make it to the College World Series and will do it sooner than later. When they do, they can look back at this team and this season for getting it started.

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